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Latest Top Picks

Stock Opinions by Gavin Graham

PAST TOP PICK
(A Top Pick Sep 27/19, Up 18%) Canada's biggest P&C insurer, IFC continues to snap up busineses. Most insurers lose money on underwriting, but the CEO has done a great job in making money underwriting as well as acquiring other companies.
insurance
PAST TOP PICK
(A Top Pick Sep 27/19, Up 13%) They bought one of the world's largest fund managers. Pays a sustainable 7% dividend yield. In falling markets, active managers outperform, which will benefit Fiera.
Financial Services
PAST TOP PICK

(A Top Pick Sep 27/19, Up 33%) This is the spin-off of ALA-T, holding the steady eddy Canadian assets like BC hydro.

Utilities
COMMENT
If the US drops, should I hold a Canadian gold, not American, ETF? When gold goes up Don't worry about the currency. Gold will do well. At PDAC this week in Toronto, many gold companies have reported cutting costs while gold has risen above $1,600/ounce.
Unknown
BUY
How can MFC maintain its upward trajectory after the central banks cut interest rates? Insurers have been hit hard by the low rates, including MFC, but it will eventually reach $30, because it's very profitable, has strong Asian growth from its growing middle class, and is performing well in North America. Buy/own this, put it away and forget it for five years. By then, it'll reach $30.
insurance
BUY
Utility recommendation? Pays a 3.5% yield, and well-run. It's a steady-eddy and operates in the Carolinas, so offers geographic diversification for your portfolio.
electrical / electronic
COMMENT
The cruiselines are suffering during the coronavirus. The long-term demographics will support this sector which will bounce back. But you need to wait for the virus to fade. Meanwhile, there will be cheap cruise deals for travellers.
Unknown
COMMENT
They suffered disappointing numbers last year and have been hit by the virus like the wider markets, but SIS has done well over five years. Aging demographics are on their side, but it has underperformed recently. You must have a long-term view on this.
other services
PARTIAL SELL
MA vs. Visa Both have done very well. They're bridge-keepers who collect a toll, basically. They've run up though, so take some profits. They trade around a pricey 32x earnings. Also, we have no idea when the coronavirus will peter out.
other services
PARTIAL SELL
MA vs. Visa Both have done very well. They're bridge-keepers who collect a toll, basically. They've run up though, so take some profits. They trade around a pricey 32x earnings. Also, we have no idea when the coronavirus will peter out.
other services
DON'T BUY
Production is still not entirely back on in China, the epicentre of the coronavirus. Car sales there in February plunged 92%; China is the world's largest car market. Wrong time to get into FXI, and has not performed well in the last five years.
E.T.F.'s
HOLD
Rose 21% in the past year and pays a 5% dividend. It's the biggest and best oil company in Canada, though western Canadian oil is not a great place to be now. If you own it, hang on. They've been raising their payouts.
integrated oils
DON'T BUY

The great Canadian tech story, but it's run up far and we can face a slowdown. In six months, this could be better-valued.

0
TOP PICK
A big player in vaccines and a top-10 pharma company in the world. The stock hasn't done much in the last 5 years, because drugs have come off patent. They're now the biggest consumer healthcare business in the world; they will spin off this company in two years. Pay a 5% yield that should rise this year. Vaccines and asthma meds will drive sales. (Analysts’ price target is $50.10)
biotechnology / pharmaceutical
TOP PICK
No price target The biggest distributor of glass and plastic packaging in Canada. They've grown revenues 25% in the last 5 years with earnings up 50%. Trades at 15x earnings and pays a 2.9% dividend yield.
investment companies / funds
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